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Lisa A. Stehno-Bittel, Ph.D., PT

Lisa Stehno-Bittel portrait
Clinical Professor, Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science
lbittel@kumc.edu

Professional Background

Lisa Stehno-Bittel, Ph.D., PT, serves as director of a medical imaging course for physical therapy and audiology students as well as for an administration course for physical therapists. Additionally, she teaches a grant-writing course for doctoral and post-doctoral students from across the KU Medical Center campus.

In 2012 Stehno-Bittel licensed her patents from KU and later formed a biotech company, Likarda, which was named one of the 50 most promising start-ups in the world during Global Entrepreneur week. Since then Likarda has grown into a biotech company providing services to cell therapy companies while advancing internal product development. In 2015 she was named by Ingram’s Magazine as One of the Top 50 Kansans You Should Know.

Academic Background
Stehno-Bittel began her academic career at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas, where she earned her bachelor's degree in physical therapy. After years as a PT in a variety of practice settings, she advanced her education at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo., where she obtained a doctorate in physiology.

After her post-doctoral work in pharmacology at the Mayo School of Medicine in Rochester, Minn., Stehno-Bittel returned to KU Medical Center to join the Department of Physical Therapy, Rehabilitation Science, and Athletic Training as a faculty member. She served as department chair from 2004 to 2015. Stehno-Bittel reduced her time at KU so she could devote more time to her company.

Education and Training
  • BS, Physical Therapy, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas
Professional Affiliations
  • School of Health Professions (formerly School of Allied Health), School of Health Professions Board of Directors, Member, 2017 - Present
  • School of Health Professions (formerly School of Allied Health), Administrator's Council , Member, 2005 - Present
  • School of Health Professions (formerly School of Allied Health), School of Allied Health Resources and Facilities Planning, Member, 2004 - 2006
  • School of Health Professions (formerly School of Allied Health), Student Affairs Committee, Member, 1996 - 1999
  • School of Health Professions (formerly School of Allied Health), School of Allied Health Action Group, Member, 1996 - 1996

Research

Overview

Stehno-Bittel has dedicated her research to curing chronic diseases through cell therapies, especially directed at type 1 diabetes. During that process, her team discovered that smaller islets survived the transplant procedure better, and their research helped to improve transplant outcomes. Knowing that they needed a scalable source of cells, the team developed a differentiation process to turn induced pluripotent stem cells into insulin producing cells and create a customized hydrogel to protect the cells from the immune system while allowing them to function in the body.